So say you live in Pennsylvania. You hunt in Pennsylvania. You fish in Pennsylvania. You’re concerned about the potential environmental impact of gas exploration and drilling in the Marcellus Shale, so you attend some meetings of similarly concerned citizens. Guess what? The state of Pennsylvania is watching you, and it’s giving that information directly to the oil and gas industry.
From this story in the Centre Daily Times:
_According to recently leaked documents, the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security has been tracking anti-gas drilling groups and their meetings — including a public screening of the film “Gasland,” a documentary about the environmental hazards of natural gas drilling. The office has included the information in its weekly intelligence bulletins sent to law enforcement agencies.
__The bulletins are also sent to gas companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Activists and environmental groups have responded with outrage and some alarm. “There’s something dead-fishy here. … Something is rotten,” activist Gene Stilp said. He has called for a formal House and Senate inquiry into the activities of the Homeland Security Office. State Homeland Security Director James Powers explained that he has been including anti-gas drilling activist information in his triweekly intelligence briefings for about a month because there have been “five to 10” incidents of vandalism around the state related to the natural gas industry, which is one of the sectors he is charged with monitoring.
One of those incidents, he said, involved someone shooting a natural gas container tank with a shotgun in Venango County. Powers said the briefings are sent to local law enforcement and the owners and operators of “critical infrastructure.” Comparing himself to Tommy Lee Jones’ character in the film “The Fugitive,” Powers said, “I don’t care” which side of the issue someone is on — or if he or she is innocent. My concern is public safety.” However, the “intelligence” in the briefings includes lists of public meetings the state has determined anti-drilling activists plan to attend. “I find it kind of creepy that the state is compiling information on the innocuous activity of citizens,” said Jan Jarrett, president of PennFuture, a group that has expressed concern about drilling issues._